Pancreatic cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer deaths in the UK, yet receives only 1% of the total research.
Underinvestment is one of the key reasons pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rates of almost every cancer, according to the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK.
In their report titled ‘A cancer of unmet need: the pancreatic cancer research challenge’, an analysis of research spending shows that investment in pancreatic cancer research is significantly disproportionate to the burden of the disease.
There are around 7,900 deaths annually from pancreatic cancer in the UK, and it has the lowest one-year survival rate of the 21 most common cancers. However, only £553 per death per year is spent on pancreatic cancer research.
In contrast, breast cancer has one of the highest one-year survival rates of all cancers, with 11,500 deaths annually, yet £3,613 is spent on research per year.
If pancreatic cancer were on a par with breast cancer, more than £29 million a year would be spent on research, instead of the £5 million currently spent on the disease.
Pancreatic Cancer UK has called for the development of a strategic approach that would enable research to develop at a steady and sustainable rate.
The charity wants to spending on research to double by 2015 to £10 million a year, bringing it roughly into line with research spend on bowel and prostate cancer.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We must find ways to support GPs better in identifying symptoms which could be pancreatic cancer, to enable earlier diagnosis. This will help ensure that people diagnosed with the disease are given access to the best care possible."
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012